Only Germany and Italy failed to go unbeaten among the other eight group winners as France qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, after securing qualifying in September, outcomes have been relatively inconsistent. They lost friendlies to Germany and Sweden when Corinne Diacre was still in charge. They later bounced back to defeat Norway and won the Tournoi de France.
France dominated Colombia and defeated an injured Canada in the two friendlies after Diacre was fired as coach due to disagreements with many key players. Hervé Renard, the team’s new manager, will have to deal with a number of absences due to injuries. Notably in the front line because Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto are unable to play. Due to Renard’s reliance on experienced striker Eugénie Le Sommer, who is also the nation’s all-time leading scorer, the team’s penchant to play a more fluid brand of offensive game may be curtailed.
With the underappreciated Juventus goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin in goal, Wendie Renard will once again be essential at the back. With Renard, Le Sommer, and numerous more players in their 30s, the group has high expectations for improving upon previous tournament results.
Diacre was replaced by the contentious (but comparatively effective) Hervé Renard in March but hasn’t yet made his mark on the squad. Although he has never managed a women’s team, he has experience at the international level and has previously outperformed expectations in last-minute competitions, notably Zambia’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations victory. Renard has frequently used a 4-2-3-1 at the international level, although he has also tried three at the back. He will probably use the former for France, however, he also has the option of using three midfielders.
Le Sommer and Amandine Henry, two seasoned players, will be by Wendie Renard’s side. As they have fallen out of favor lately, Renard will be the key for her nation in what may be her final World Cup. Her leadership and aerial skill at set pieces make her crucial at both ends of the game. She is physically intimidating and graceful on the ball. She will be essential if France is to accomplish their goals throughout this tournament.
Vicki Bècho, who is only 19 years old, surprisingly excelled for Lyon last season, the league champions. Even though she only played a small amount of time, she managed to return with two goals and four assists. She is a dynamo on the pitch and can use her exceptional technical skill to play on either wing. She is outstanding at pressing and will be a great choice to sabotage a match in the closing stages.
Amel Majri of Lyon became the first live French international to play again after giving birth. Maryam, her daughter, joined the squad at their April camp at Clairefontaine, and even though she has only just turned one, she is now a member of the Les Bleues setup.
State of Football
One of the premier divisions in Europe is D1 Féminin, dominated by Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. It also features a number of other excellent clubs, notably the young Paris FC. All-national networks Canal+, France Télévisions, and M6 air domestic coverage of the national team’s games and the league.
France has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in the last three FIFA Women’s World Cup. Le Sommer recently expressed the desire to make it to the last four, so the older players are well aware that this may be their final opportunity to win a trophy.
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